(6:15 p.m. EDT) -- The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, a new cruise line, celebrated a major milestone Tuesday when its first yacht touched water for the first time during a float out ceremony at the Hijos De J. Barreras Shipyard in Vigo, Spain.
The float out ceremony signifies that workers have nearly completed the exterior construction of the new ship. As for the next steps, remaining construction will be complete, making way for the interior outfitting and eventually sea trials to test the ship's seaworthiness, machinery and engines.
Key people attending the event included Douglas Prothero, CEO of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection; Timothy Grisius, global real estate officer for Marriott International; Jose Garcia Costas, chairman of the shipyard; and Fredrik Johansson, owner and executive project director of Tillberg Design of Sweden.
The 298-passenger yacht remains nameless; a naming ceremony will take place in December 2018, with a proper christening ceremony occurring prior to the ship's maiden voyage in February 2020.
The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will feature luxury yacht-like cruise ships with all-balcony cabins, multiple dining venues and water toys accessible via an onboard marina. Fares will be all-inclusive, covering alcoholic drinks, crew gratuities and Wi-Fi. The first yacht will spend its maiden season in the Caribbean, followed by stints in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and Canada/New England, before returning to the Caribbean for the winter.
--by Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor